Paul Simon Sells Song Catalog to Sony Music Publishing

Paul Simon
Frank Ockenfels

Paul Simon

Sony Music Publishing (SMP) has acquired Paul Simon’s entire song catalog for an undisclosed sum, giving the publishing company rights to six decades of such classics as “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Graceland,” “The Boxer” and “The Sound of Silence.”

“Paul Simon is a masterful, once-in-a-lifetime songwriter whose remarkable body of work has generated an enduring influence on our culture and consciousness,” said Sony Music Publishing chairman/CEO Jon Platt in a statement. “Paul Simon’s music resonates deeply as a cultural touchstone for people all over the world. To represent his indelible songs is an incredible honor for Sony Music Publishing, so with tremendous pride, I welcome Paul to our family!”

“I’m pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of my songs for the coming decades,” said Simon. “I began my career at Columbia/Sony Records and it feels like a natural extension to be working with the publishing side as well.”

Simon, one of the most revered singer/songwriters in modern American history, launched his music career as a member of Simon & Garfunkel. The duo, which began releasing music in 1964, has sold more than 100 million records, according to SMP.

Simon then went on to have a lauded solo career, crafting albums that wove in many different influences, including Graceland, which captured the Grammy for album of the year in 1987. Simon has won the coveted album of the year Grammy three times, also winning for Still Crazy After All These Years in 1976 and for Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water in 1971.

Simon previously had an administration deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. The deal brings Simon’s publishing and recorded music under one roof. His recorded music contract is with Sony Music Entertainment. Since 2010, Sony has controlled the masters of the solo album he recorded for Warner Brothers.

“We are truly honored to now represent the music publishing catalogue of Paul Simon," said Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer. "To be entrusted with his songs and recorded music is a privilege of the highest artistic order for the Sony Music Group worldwide.”

Billboard estimates that Simon's  recorded music catalog last year generated $945,000 in music publishing  performance and mechanical revenue from streams, sales and radio play, not counting synchronization and all other kinds of performance revenue.

The move comes nearly four months after UMPG acquired Bob Dylan’s catalog of more than 600 songs. SMP administered Dylan’s catalog outside the U.S. (and will continue to so until its current deal ends).

Simon was represented in the transaction by Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, P.C. and Sony Music Publishing was assisted by Davis Shapiro Lewit & Grabel, LLP.

Paul Simon Set to Headline Outside Lands | Billboard News